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    Climbing aboard the homeseer ship?

    I tried Homeseer many many years ago before Z wave & zigbee devices came into the world. IT seemed a little much but now, I no longer have a choice.

    I have used Vera for at least 8-9 years now. It's just getting to the point where I need solid reliability. I've tested Smartthings and Hubitat with failures on both of those platforms.

    I feel a little overwhelmed at coming to HomeSeer and I'd like to see if I can get some feedback on what ideas you might have before I get my head completely wrapped around the idea because once I purchase the Homeseer software, I'm in and not looking back. With all that said, I know there are a lot of options and I'll start by listing device types and what I have available to me for hardware.

    I have the following types of devices, all are Z-wave unless noted.

    GE/Jasco Switches
    Honeywell Thermostat (WIFI)
    Motion Sensors
    Kwikset Deadbolts
    Hikvision CCTV NVR on a separate VLAN (IP)
    Vista 20P , I can do EVL3 for IP or AD2USB for serial, either solution, I have the hardware.

    I have the following hardware/computers available.
    1. I run a FreeNAS server and I have 3 jails running for basic things on a LAN. Xeon Processor w/16GB RAM
    2. I have a Raspberry Pi 3b+ with a Zwave.me board, I've ran numerous home automations on this setup to test with.
    3. I do have a Zstick, i'd just rather not use a Z-Stick, if it's better to use, I'm willing, just not a fan and I'd probably have to buy one that is Zwave+ if I did.

    What I'm worried about is hardware / software choices from HomeSeer

    I want the touch package, which would mean just getting HSPro, and I always want to have any driver/plugin support that comes with it.

    I looked at the Home Troller, probably very capable but, not only do I have a server but I have two other appliances/computers that probably beat it's specs.

    I have spent a week or so lurking, I just need input so I can finish narrowing down the best solution for me.

    Thanks,
    Tony


    #2
    I too came from Vera, the huge advantage of HS over Vera and similar platforms like it is that you are not locked into their OEM hardware. The constant problem with Vera is that you were limited to the processor and memory of their hardware.

    What I love about HS is that you can choose to buy one of their ready to go controllers (hardware and software together) or simply buy the software and pick your own hardware. There's nothing magical about their hardware and if you read enough of the forums here you can easily reproduce it on your own.

    I chose to use an old laptop running Windows that I had lying around, swapped in a SSD and bought a SmartStick+. What's great about using a laptop is that it has a built-in battery backup and it can be walked around the house to troubleshoot automation issues. If I ever outgrow it then I can simply do a backup of my configuration and restore it on more powerful hardware, a virtual machine, etc.

    HS definitely has its issues, just like the other platforms, but I find the pluses outweigh the negatives.

    Comment


      #3
      HomeSeer also allows you to interface to other automation systems e.g. Node-RED to add those missing features you may come across where control resides elsewhere but also the ease of the of use without excessive event creation (in other words machine to machine) where the servers are linked, that when something happens in one, triggers something else in another. To be continued............................... If you have HomeSeer up and running!



      Eman.
      TinkerLand : Life's Choices,"No One Size Fits All"

      Comment


        #4
        I came from Vera as well, and like HS much better. I'm running HS3Pro on a laptop, but haven't yet tried using HSTouch (not enough time) The only thing I can say is that I wish I had kept my Vera for lock management. That seemed to work better for me than HS, at least it was easier for me. There is a plug-in for HS to use the Vera, so this is something you may want to think about.

        Comment


          #5
          I do have node-red installed on my nas, just to learn how to use it. I also have Home Assistant installed and I've gotten a little familiar with it.

          IF I purchase HSPro Software package, I still need a device to handle the ZWave hardware, as in Z Stick, etc. Does the HomeTroller have that already or does it still use the USB Z Stick?

          Kinda sound like I can go ahead get my hardware thoughts together and just get software HSPro. Is there a major benefit to getting the HomeTroller?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by burn1out View Post
            I tried Homeseer many many years ago before Z wave & zigbee devices came into the world. IT seemed a little much but now, I no longer have a choice.

            I have used Vera for at least 8-9 years now. It's just getting to the point where I need solid reliability. I've tested Smartthings and Hubitat with failures on both of those platforms.

            I feel a little overwhelmed at coming to HomeSeer and I'd like to see if I can get some feedback on what ideas you might have before I get my head completely wrapped around the idea because once I purchase the Homeseer software, I'm in and not looking back. With all that said, I know there are a lot of options and I'll start by listing device types and what I have available to me for hardware.

            I have the following types of devices, all are Z-wave unless noted.

            GE/Jasco Switches
            Honeywell Thermostat (WIFI)
            Motion Sensors
            Kwikset Deadbolts
            Hikvision CCTV NVR on a separate VLAN (IP)
            Vista 20P , I can do EVL3 for IP or AD2USB for serial, either solution, I have the hardware.

            I have the following hardware/computers available.
            1. I run a FreeNAS server and I have 3 jails running for basic things on a LAN. Xeon Processor w/16GB RAM
            2. I have a Raspberry Pi 3b+ with a Zwave.me board, I've ran numerous home automations on this setup to test with.
            3. I do have a Zstick, i'd just rather not use a Z-Stick, if it's better to use, I'm willing, just not a fan and I'd probably have to buy one that is Zwave+ if I did.

            What I'm worried about is hardware / software choices from HomeSeer

            I want the touch package, which would mean just getting HSPro, and I always want to have any driver/plugin support that comes with it.

            I looked at the Home Troller, probably very capable but, not only do I have a server but I have two other appliances/computers that probably beat it's specs.

            I have spent a week or so lurking, I just need input so I can finish narrowing down the best solution for me.

            Thanks,
            Tony
            I cannot verify if your device list is fully compatible, but coming from Hubitat to homeseer has been a sigh of relief! The system is 10x more reliable.

            I use the smart stick which I bought from homeseer and everything else is Lutron. I sold all my zigbee devices and Hubitat. It help offset some of the costs for plugins and such. Even at that, the extra expensive is worth my sanity!

            Comment


              #7
              I will keep it short but I moved from Vera to HomeSeer a few years ago and never looked back. I liked the event engine on Vera better but besides that HomeSeer gives you a lot more flexibility. Also I really liked HSTouch Designer to build my own GUI. It needs some desperate improvements but with some workarounds you can do pretty much anything you want.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by burn1out View Post
                I do have node-red installed on my nas, just to learn how to use it. I also have Home Assistant installed and I've gotten a little familiar with it.

                IF I purchase HSPro Software package, I still need a device to handle the ZWave hardware, as in Z Stick, etc. Does the HomeTroller have that already or does it still use the USB Z Stick?

                Kinda sound like I can go ahead get my hardware thoughts together and just get software HSPro. Is there a major benefit to getting the HomeTroller?
                Hometrollers, except the Pi version which has a zwave radio built in, do not include zwave/zigbee controller you'll need one of those.

                If you have any zigbee devices I'm afraid you're stuck with a USB dongle (if you want a commercial product). But... there appears to be a pi hat https://www.reddit.com/r/homeautomat...bee_and_zwave/

                I'm a fan of the HS znet as opposed to the z-stick. Nice thing about the znet is you can connect to your network via wifi and move it around if you need to connect a non zwave+ device or lock. I have a Kwikset zwave lock, the 910 version if I recall correctly. It does work, but doesn't report it's status as often as I'd like, I'll be updating to a newer Kwikset at some point in the future. I also have a Honeywell wifi tstat; there is a plugin that controls it.

                I started with a hometroller, but when it started having hardware issues I purchased another SFF computer. I'd suggest a hometroller for anyone who just wants a turnkey/plug-n-play solution. From your setup, that is not my impression nor recommendation for you. HS runs natively in windows, I'm sure there would be lively debate about which is better the linux or windows version. If you think you'll need more than 5 plug-ins you'll want the windows version. Linux only supports 5 plug-ins.

                Lastly. I would highly recommend you download the trial version of HS first. Get it set up and play around, figure out which plug-ins you'll want, HS can have a fairly steep initial learning curve. Once you're happy with it, buy a license and start installing plugins. Keep in mind, there are quite a few private paid for plug-ins, they also tend to have free trials, but budget them into your total cost if you find them indispensable. Plug-ins add functionality but in many cases are optional.
                HS4 Pro on Shuttle NC10U, Win10; Z-NET
                Number of Devices: 449
                Number of Events: 210

                Plug-Ins: Arduino, BLLock, DirecTv, EasyTrigger, Honeywell WiFi Thermostat, MeiHarmonyHub, PHLocation2, Pushover 3P, UltraM1G3, WeatherXML, Worx Landroid, Z-Wave

                External applications: Homebridge-homeseer, Geofency, EgiGeoZone.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jmaddox View Post

                  If you have any zigbee devices I'm afraid you're stuck with a USB dongle (if you want a commercial product).
                  The same folks who make the ConBee2 Zigbee stick also make a network version via an add-on model for the RPi. It's real easy to get it going and they provide all the steps. Plus the HS JowiHue forum provides pretty good support from folks who have gone this route.

                  https://phoscon.de/en/raspbee

                  I highly recommend staying away from the HST Zigbee solution for now, even though the PI is "free", support is abysmal. With the ConBee2 and JowiHue I've got all kinds of Zigbee devices integrated into my HS4 platform. I'm about to put into production some Hue lights that are controlled by Z-wave dimmers, response time is fast because of the tight integration between the ConBee and JowiHue. The free HS4 Phillips Hue PI is not sufficient IMO because it requires polling.

                  Just by paying a little extra for the JowiHue PI I've now got a myriad of cheap (~$12) zigbee sensors around my house that outperform much of the z-wave sensors on the market in terms of battery life and compact size.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks a lot for the feedback in this thread. I'm going to plan this out over a few weeks and get my hardware ready and just get HSPro software pack (maybe it'll go on sale again) and go the Z-Net route as well even though I have a zwave.me controller. I could always deploy a real repeater on the network or play around with zwave with more intent on learning the coms and protocols. Thanks for the tip on Windows vs plugins needed. I supposed the Zwave plugin counts as one.

                    Thank you all a bunch!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      burn1out , jmaddox offers some great advice regarding the trials. All the software for HS and all the plugins offer 30-day trials, so use that to your advantage to install, break, re-install, tear-down, rebuild, etc so you can get a feel for what could go wrong and develop your own set of best practices. Figure out what you truly need so you don't overspend.

                      And yes, more than likely there will be another 50% off sale leading up to Black Friday, I usually wait until then if possible.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jmaddox View Post

                        If you think you'll need more than 5 plug-ins you'll want the windows version. Linux only supports 5 plug-ins.
                        Not true. The Pi version only supports 5 plugins. Running on full Linux is not limited.
                        https://forums.homeseer.com/forum/de...plifier-plugin

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks for the Linux info, that’s what I was hoping. I don’t want to maintain another windows machine.

                          I will definitely start with trial first and get something going.

                          I want to move the alarm first I think and get it steady.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Two items:

                            1). Know that only the HomeSeer developed plugins come with the pro version. Others which you may want are extra. Although some great plugins are also free regardless.
                            2) There is a thread from within the last month (?) where i commented about the 5 plugin limit for Raspberry Pi installations. This is only true for the less expensive RPi version. Apparently you can load a higher price version on a Raspberry Pi and get more plugins. There was also some discussion of system setups and performance on the Pi in that thread. Sorry, I'm on my phone ride I would look for it and get a link.
                            Karl S
                            HS4Pro on Windows 10
                            242 Devices
                            56 Z-Wave Nodes
                            37 Events
                            HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 iOS
                            Google Home: 3 Mini units 1 display

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Not all plugins are compatible with L I n u x
                              tenholde

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